February 3rd, 2022

The Gospel according to Mark (6:7-13)

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Reflection:

In 2018 when I came back from a pilgrimage in Spain my saint of a facilitator in the Diaconate formation encouraged me to share my experiences as often I could. I have since learned that I will be unraveling the depths and significance of the big and little things that continue to affect me today. I went to a foreign land, with all my belongings in a backpack and walked an average of 14 miles a day.  Sometimes with a small group but most of the time with a dear friend who I have know for a good number of years.  We traveled, like the apostles as a pair.  I am absolutely astounded that when we entered certain homes the peace and love of Christ that we brought in our hearts was already present.  In the warm smiles, polite and sincere concern, delicious meals, and the friendships that will last a lifetime even though we may never see each other again.

When Jesus sent out the Twelve, he did not do so arbitrarily, without preparation, or defenseless. No, he had been preparing them for some time.  He also gave them authority over unclean spirits.  But the greatest gift he gave them was faith.  And it seems that the Twelve received all they had been given and trusted their master.  We have been prepared, given authority, and blessed with faith so we too can go out to unfamiliar places where we can be rejected, ridiculed, or hurt.  But with faith in God’s protection and assurance of his grace we have come so very far.  Until the day we are called home we can participate in the preaching of repentance so as to make the kingdom of God more present and visible.  Not just to those who are easily accessible but especially to the far away who we must stretch and labor to reach.  Remember, you do not travel alone.  The one next to you, at times, is a fellow pilgrim but the one who will NEVER leave you side is the Prince of Peace, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Action of the Day:

Fill your backpack with all you need faith, hope, and love.  Travel to some place, to someone that needs a remider of how much they are loved. Be the travel companion they need to help them find their way back home.

Audio Reflection:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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